2010 – 5th Grade 5th Place Winner

Nimai Charan Agarwal, Maryland.

Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword?

When we study the great revolutions of the world, most have one thing in common. No, not those shiny swords the heroes wield, not the sleek horses they ride, not even the blood and gore. What they have in common is the pen. Yes, the pen. What does the pen have to do with epic battles that have changed the face of the earth? Everything.

How can the pen be greater than the sword? It is just a small, thin object. There isn’t anything apparently special about it. However its strength lies in its ability to make one pick up or put down the sword. Behind every sword stands the might of the pen. That is its power. The pen can change one’s mind and steer one’s destiny, but the sword can only kill.

There was once a great warrior named Arjuna in India who had four powerful and courageous brothers. They had a dispute with their usurping relatives and fought the epic battle described in the Mahabharata, the Iliad of Indian culture. When he saw who his opponents were, he became heartbroken and put down his weapons. he started to think, “How can I fight my own family?” Then his friend Krishna spoke the Bhagavad Gita he got inspired again and picked up his weapons to fight. This shows how the power of words can make one pick up the sword.

There have been many revolutions in history. For example, both the American and Indian revolutions were incited by the words of people. The writings of Thomas Paine were crucial in the development of the American Revolution and so were the writings of Gandhi in the Indian revolution. The pen gave birth to a new way of life, it gave birth to freedom.

We have seen how the pen has the power to lift the sword, but it also has the power to make people put down the sword.

King Ashoka was one of the greatest kings in India. He fought many battles, and gathered much power and wealth. Once he attacked the city of Kalinga and defeated it, but the sight of the corpses, burned buildings, and blood sickened him. He began to question the purpose of mindless killing and felt great grief and shame. Later, he sought the teachings of Buddha which changed his heart and he put down his sword for good, and followed a path of peace and non-violence.

By looking at these examples, we can clearly see that the pen is much stronger than the sword. It has the power to transform the mind which is the seat of one’s thoughts and directs one’s actions. Because the pen can change one’s heart and mind, it has the ability to dictate the actions of the sword, for good or evil.


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